i been there
i’ve had the grand privilege of wandering parts of the globe from a young age. it blew my puny mind, and it still does. realizing my entirety was, in fact, a tiny little piece of existence linked within an enormous universe filled unimaginably different worlds. other than seeing really amazeball shit, that is the only justification i have for travel: consciousness blowing. aside from this, it feels too much like a bizarre colonial remnant.
primarily, people of european descent boosted by some economic benefit coming ashore for a few days, maybe a few weeks. we take pictures of the objects we see, like locals. cause they look so different and beautiful. we squander oil, go out to eat, buy water encased in plastic, consume, make waste, strut around like we know where we are, and act like we own the joint. it’s like speed colonialism. and we do all this just to know we’ve seen it. seen something; been somewhere. like that’s what we’ll care about in our last breath. well, maybe in the last few ones.
i’ve made people seriously reconsider having me as their travel companion. i tell them i’d just be a downer. i will talk about how our very presence is causing the destruction of what has supposedly awed us. i will spend most of my time thinking: why do we think we deserve to see this place? how have i earned the right to stomp loudly all over the planet? we don’t have to see everything. why has travel been rendered such a revered success? what am i doing here? i don’t belong here; it feels like cheating.
all of this spoken like someone who’s done it already, yeah? who’s doing it now. poor little rich girl. tell me about it. and like a good spoiled brat, i just don’t travel well. i always want to go home. i long for the familiar. i’m a restless nester. i hate living out of a backpack and walking around looking lost. i don’t know how to dawdle about and enjoy scenery. i’m too often underwhelmed. and i strongly, strongly dislike feeling like an uninvited house guest.